Disney to begin laying off employees this week, according to Iger memo

Company planning 7,000 layoffs over the next few months

FILE - In this Aug. 8, 2017, file photo, The Walt Disney Co. logo appears on a screen above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Disney is working on sequels for its Toy Story, Frozen and Zootopia franchises as the company concentrates more on brands that have continued to perform well. The Walt Disney Co. is working on a strategic transformation, announced by CEO Bob Iger on Wednesday, Feb. 8 2023. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) (Richard Drew, Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Disney’s CEO announced Monday that phase one of a three-phase plan to lay off thousands of Disney workers would begin this week.

News 6 obtained the memo CEO Robert Iger issued to Disney’s workforce, announcing the first group of employees being let go would be informed in the next few days.

“In tough moments, we must always do what is required to ensure Disney can continue delivering exceptional entertainment to audiences and guests around the world – now, and long into the future,” Iger wrote.

Several thousand employees would then be laid off in a second phase in April, with a final round of layoffs happening before the start of the summer.

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“For our employees who aren’t impacted, I want to acknowledge that there will no doubt be challenges ahead as we continue building the structures and functions that will enable us to be successful moving forward. I ask for your continued understanding and collaboration during this time,” Iger wrote.

Iger announced in February that the company would cut 7,000 jobs globally across its media, parks and resorts, and ESPN divisions. This is part of a restructuring to cut $5.5 billion in costs and streamline operations. It represents about 3% of the company’s 220,000 workers.

Disney theme parks and experiences continue to do well. In February, the company reported revenue from the parks, experiences and products division brought in $8.74 billion, up 21% from 2021.

Disney attributes the growth to increases in attendance, occupied room nights and passenger cruise days, particularly through the domestic theme parks and experiences.

However, the company’s streaming service Disney+ is struggling with subscriber loss, losing about 1% of total subscribers since Oct. 1.

Iger also plans to bring back Disney stock dividends later this year.

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Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.